Involve youth in peace dialogues to foster national harmony, says commissioner
The Commissioner of Youth and Children Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development wants youth to be involved in peace dialogues to help them work and promote harmony in the country.
“The involvement of young people in understanding the importance of peace at a tender age is very important and if we invest in young people, children and they come to appreciate the importance of peace, they come to understand unity in diversity, and they come to understand living together in harmony then that can propel our countries into bigger horizons,” Mr Mondo Kyateka said during the second five-day Regional Peace Summer School held in Entebbe.
According to him, there’s no better ingredient for social economic transformation in communities than peace.
“Peace is the fuel that moves transformation of communities and where there’s no peace, there’s no development. Where there’s no peace there’s no moving on. Where there’s no peace there’s nothing that takes place in a coherent and cohesive manner. Therefore, peace is the fuel that lights the candle to move countries from one economic status to another,” he said.
He further noted that dialogue is the best civilized mechanism of resolving any problem.
“That's why it’s important for young people to have peaceful minds so that in case they are in charge of the government they talk about peace at all times and ensure we don’t go to war with any of our neighbors.”
Mr Jakob Kerstan, the project director Great Lakes Dialogue and Peace said their intention was to strengthen local youth groups and initiatives.
“We are having more than 100 participants and our goal is to strengthen local youth groups and initiatives who engage in multiple sectors that contribute to peace in the region and also focuses on positive role that youth play as an agent in peace building which is recognized by the UN, EU, the African Union and the national governments of the region,” he said.
Ms Doreen Birabwa Brenda from Uganda Working with Cornerstone Development Africa said they support the youth to enable them to become the next great leaders.
“Our intention is to help them bond together because we believe the youth are the leaders of Africa tomorrow. So, we engage them so that we can talk about different challenges affecting the great lakes region and through this dialogue they will benefit a lot,” he said.
The EU-co-funded project brings together stakeholders from Rwanda, Tanzania, DRC and Uganda, among others.